You’re engaged! Congrats! Now what? You’ve tossed around the idea of a big wedding, but realized, nope, that’s not us. So you’re considering doing an adventure elopement. But you’ve never done that before! Yes, it’s only two people, maybe a few guests. But still, where do you even start? I’m going to give you a few tips here on how to plan your adventure elopement.
Tip #1 – Think about what you love the most as a couple
What does that mean? Well, take moment to consider what you’re like as a couple. What are the things you love to do together? These could be things like xc skiing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, backcountry camping, or chilling around a campfire roasting hotdogs with friends. Great!! Why not incorporate those into your elopement? The more personal you can make your elopement day, the more you’ll be able to relax and love every moment of it.
You might be wondering how to incorporate those things into your wedding day. If you love the outdoors, do a hiking elopement! If you love skiing, how about a winter elopement where you cross country ski back into a beautiful mountain location with a few friends. After the ceremony and photos, you could have a fire and chill evening with friends instead of a big reception. Make sense?
Here’s an example adventure elopement timeline:
- 3:30am – Wakeup
- 4:00 – 5:30am – Hair/makeup and getting ready (photographer can be here at this time!)
- 6:00am – Start your hike up to a summit for sunrise
- 8:00am – Arrive at the summit and get changed into your wedding attire
- 8:30am – First look/ceremony and vow exchange (definitely click here to hire Cole Hofstra for your hiking elopement officiant!)
- 9:00am – whenever! – Take epic photos in your wedding attire on top of the mountain and finish your hike
- 4:00pm – Chill, or meet up with friends for dinner, a fire, ice cream, or anything else that suits your fancy!
That sounds doable, eh? So how do you plan all of that? Well, keep reading.
Tip #2 – Figure out what area you want to elope in and pick a date
If you’re a mountain person, obviously the mountains are a good place to start looking. You may have ideas for hikes you’ve done that you want to have your elopement on as well – great! If you don’t, I have tons of recommendations up my sleeve in Kananaskis, Banff, Jasper, and Canmore areas. So don’t stress about that! In the initial zoom call with me after you inquire, we’ll chat about options for that. So, we’ve got the location nailed – Check!
What about a date for your adventure elopement? Well, that goes back to what you enjoy doing as a couple. For those wanting to do a hike, anywhere from June to October can be suitable for Alberta. If you’re wanting to involve skiing, skating, or other winter activities, then evidently November to March would be ideal.
If you’re wanting to do a backcountry overnight hiking elopement, then planning will need to be flexible for booking campgrounds and just going with the flow for what dates are available for that.
Tip #3 – Hire your adventure elopement photographer and vendors
This seems obvious – you need an elopement photographer, dress, menswear, flowers, rings, vow books, hair and makeup, officiant etc. We all know there are endless options for all of those. So where do you even start looking? Here are a few to get you started! This is a list of some of my favorites who serve couples eloping in the mountains in Alberta:
- Officiants – Married by Cole, JP Weddings YYC, or Weddings by Tamara
- Florists – Elkae Creative or Grasslands Flower Co.
- Dress – Abigail of Gardenia (they’re handmade in Canada)
- Vow Books – Range Road 21 or Loft Designs Co.
- Photographer – Hi! Lena Jenise Photography
- Videographer – Via Brooklyn June or Project 316 Videography
If you need any other recommendations, I have more! Just send me a message 🙂 Keep scrolling for the next tip!
Tip #4 – Communicate with your elopement photographer to plan your elopement timeline
This is so key! Time of year, time of day, where you’re getting married, whether you’re planning a hike, and so many other things have a huge effect on your timeline for an adventure elopement. I communicate with my couples constantly, to make sure we are ready to tackle anything that nature throws at us! This also goes back to what kind of an elopement you are planning, and what season it is in. We can work together on the timeline to best fit it to the location you’re planning on.
Tip #5 – Just enjoy the elopement planning process
Look, I get it. Planning an elopement seems like it should be easy but it can still be stressful trying to book and coordinate everything. But don’t stress to hard! Just relax, trust the process, let me take the lead it most of it, and just enjoy your special day in the end. If you’ve planned it around activities and things that you love to do as a couple, it WILL be the best day, no matter what.
If you need anymore help or tips on how to plan your adventure elopement, join my hiking and helicopter elopement group over on Facebook for weekly advice and helpful ideas.